NMR relaxation time distributions of water 1H obtained by a portable single-sided surface device have been compared with MRI internal images obtained with a laboratory imaging apparatus on the same biocalcarenite (Lecce Stone) samples during capillary water uptake. The aim of this work was to check the ability of NMR methods to quantitatively follow the absorption phenomenon under different wettability conditions of the internal pore surfaces. Stone wettability changes were obtained by capillary absorption of a chloroform solution of Paraloid PB72, a hydrophobic acrylic resin frequently used to protect monuments and buildings, through one face of each sample. Both relaxation and imaging data have been found in good quantitative agreement each other and with masses of water determined by weighing the samples. In particular the Washburn model of water capillary rise applied to the imaging data allowed us to quantify the sorptivity in both treated and untreated samples. Combining relaxation and imaging data, a synergetic improvement of our understanding of the water absorption kinetics at both pore and sample scales is obtained. Since relaxation data have been taken over the course of time without interrupting the absorption process, simply by keeping the portable device on the surface opposite to the absorption, the results show that the single-sided NMR technique is a powerful tool for in situ evaluation of water-repellent treatments frequently used for consolidation and/or protection of stone artifacts.
Bortolotti, V., et al. “Water Absorption Kinetics in Different Wettability Conditions Studied at Pore and Sample Scales in Porous Media by NMR with Portable Single-Sided and Laboratory Imaging Devices.” Journal of Magnetic Resonance, vol. 181, no. 2, 2006, pp. 287–295., doi:10.1016/j.jmr.2006.05.016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2006.05.016